When I think of the 2012 academic year, the word that comes to mind is "exciting". We had an extremely fruitful year, one that kept everyone on their toes helping to advance the activities, research, and teaching associated with our department. Our research efforts continue to make national news—which you can read about on our ESS news website—and other stories about present research are listed throughout this newsletter.
We spent much of our time and energy involved in four new faculty searches in the fields of crustal materials, space sciences, applied geosciences, and geodesy. The department has never been involved in so many searches simultaneously, which of course proved to be demanding. A big thank you needs to go out all the faculty, staff and students who participated in the many different aspects of the interview process. Details of the new hires are listed in the e-newsletter and the department is thrilled to have new capabilities in these arenas.
This year also saw the launching of the new Masters in ESS: Applied Geosciences (MESSAGe) program. The first cohort of students has been selected and will start their studies in the upcoming academic year. This program offers a much needed avenue for students interested in honing their skills that will have direct applications in the private sector. This program is being developed under the auspices of its director, Prof. Juliet Crider.
The department's alumni, friends, and partners continue to provide significant and much appreciated private support benefiting our faculty and students. Read here to learn about such recent commitments.
If you have not yet made your annual gift please consider supporting the field experience of our students through a gift to the Undergraduate Field Support Fund. This fund helps our students gain invaluable field experience key to their educational and professional growth. To make a gift, please visit the UW Foundation's secure website here.
Many thanks to all the people who helped organize and participated in the department's 2nd Annual Family Day, especially to David Rupp who took the lead to formally organize the event into a huge celebration of departmental activities. Over 200 participants joined us for the 2 1/2 hours of interactive displays and demonstrations. I hope to see more of you at the next event—please stay tuned.
It was also a great year for many of our faculty and students, who were acknowledged for their numerous academic achievements. Congratulations to Joshua Bandfield who was promoted to Research Associate Professor, David Catling to Full Professor, Gerard Roe to Full Professor and Terry Swanson to Principal Lecturer, and to Professor Kate Huntington, Geological Society of America's 2012 Young Scientist Award. Notable student accomplishments are listed in the e-newsletter, including two NSF graduate fellowships, two NASA Earth and Space Science graduate fellowships, College of the Environment Dean's Undergraduate Medalist, front cover article in Science and in UW Columns Magazine, and student awards from national societies including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Geological Society of America.
Also, a note of good luck and congratulations are in order to Professors Bernard Hallet and Ron Sletten working with JPL on NASA Curiosity rover, and to Professor David Montgomery on his new book The Rocks Don't Lie.
A few of our talented faculty moved on this year to other enterprises—we are sorry to see them go, but wish them all the best. Associate Professor Bachmann moved to ETH Zurich; Lecturer Brittany Brand will join the University of Idaho as an Assistant Professor; Professor Alan Gillespie resigned to become a Research Professor with Quaternary Research Center so he could dedicate more time to research efforts and to the support of the journal Quaternary Research.
We continue in our teaching efforts to emphasize field and laboratory work. Many of these efforts have now found their way onto YouTube and we hope to see more additions in the near future. Finally congratulations to the class of 2012. Please stay in touch.
I hope you all have a great year. I am sure that within the department there will be more many successes and I look forward to sharing these stories with you again in next year’s newsletter.
Robert Winglee, Chair, Department of Earth and Space Sciences